One morning last week when I was lugging hoses and sprinklers around to water my lawn, I was grumbling to myself about the need to repeat the task every morning here in the triple-digital heat of a Northern California summer. When I stepped back into my cool, air-conditioned kitchen, I heard a speaker on the radio telling about a young girl in Sierra Leone who must walk more than a mile several times a day to collect water for her family. She carried the heavy container home balanced on her head. Her village had no well or other source of clean water and this water was contaminated, but it was all they had.
I was struck to the heart with shame for my earlier complaints. Instead of falling to my knees in gratitude to God for a seemingly endless supply of fresh, clean water, I had moaned because I didn’t have an automatic sprinkler system to keep my grass green!
In the following days, my vision was sharpened and I saw my extraordinary blessings with new eyes, comparing my situation with the life of that precious girl in Sierra Leone and the millions of others who share similar circumstance all over the world.
Some things are only experienced in contrast; darkness is the absence of light, cold is the absence of heat, and blessings may go unnoticed without being contrasted to the lesser circumstances of another.
In light of the turbulent times we live in, with new horrors arising every day, it is easy to concentrate on the negative; on our fears, needs and the wrongs we see. But it is in times like these when we need to focus on our blessings more than ever.
We are admonished in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to Give thanks in every circumstance, for this is God’s will for you. In every circumstance, we are to be grateful and give thanks. It is God’s will.